Lar­mour grabs hat-trick in Ire­land’s rout

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby Union -

Ire­land full-back Jor­dan Lar­mour scored a hat-trick of tries and lock Tadhg Beirne two as Joe Sch­midt’s side ham­mered Italy in Chicago.

Sch­midt fielded an ex­per­i­men­tal team miss­ing many of the play­ers who won the Six Na­tions Grand Slam this year and the Ital­ians made it tough in the open­ing pe­riod, de­spite Beirne grab­bing his first try in the third minute.

Scrum-half Luke McGrath, cen­tre Garry Rin­grose and sub­sti­tute hooker Sean Cronin all touched down for Ire­land, with Joey Car­bery adding five con­ver­sions and Ross Byrne two as the Ir­ish led 14-7 at the break be­fore run­ning riot in the sec­ond half.

Italy cap­tain Michele Cam­pag­naro in­ter­cepted a way­ward pass by Rhys Rud­dock and sped away for a first-half try for Italy that was con­verted by Carlo Canna, but the Ir­ish proved far too strong in the sec­ond pe­riod as they cruised to a big win.

Lar­mour used his blis­ter­ing pace and deft foot­work to set up McGrath for Ire­land’s sec­ond try in the 32nd minute of an er­ror-strewn first half.

Cam­pag­naro’s try just be­fore the break gave Italy hope, but when Beirne went over for his sec­ond try three min­utes into the sec­ond half it her­alded the start of 40 unan­swered points from the Ir­ish.

“We knew we were in­ac­cu­rate at times and didn’t pick up the tempo. We knew we wanted to pick up the tempo in the sec­ond half,” Ire­land cap­tain Rud­dock said.

Soft­ened up by the bruis­ing first half and ham­pered by in­ac­cu­rate pass­ing and weak tack­ling, the Ital­ians had trou­ble fill­ing the holes in their de­fen­sive lines and the Ir­ish backs poured through al­most at will. Cam­pag­naro had a pass picked off by Lar­mour, who sped un­hin­dered to score Ire­land’s fourth try be­fore Cronin bull­dozed over as the Ital­ians were rocked back on their heels.

The Ir­ish backs then took over, with Rin­grose draw­ing two de­fend­ers to free up Lar­mour, who scored from the left wing be­fore cross­ing him­self in the op­po­site cor­ner.

Lar­mour added his third in the fi­nal minute, blaz­ing up the left wing to com­plete his hat-trick and grab the man-of-the-match award.

Glory boy: Jor­dan Lar­mour sprints ahead of Italy’s de­fence on the way to his sec­ond try

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